30 November 2006

FO display

Took some FOs to Knit Night last night: Clapotis, Asymmetrical Cable Hat, and Sheep Shop Garter Gloves. It's always nice to have experienced knitters appreciate your work. I finished one of the Last Minute Knitted Gifts wristlet, but I just did a straight bindoff, and I think it's too tight. Must assess coworker's hands, but I think I'm going to have to tink back the castoff row and cast off on larger needles or something else. I think I must have cast off in rib when I made these last year for Isobel's teachers. Maybe that's what I should do.

Man, I need to snap some pics of all these FOs. It's so nice to finish things. I should also write up those summary posts I see other bloggers using. They're nice for future reference.

More thoughts on the year of knitting for me (mama needs some sweaters and socks!): just received Sahara come-on from Stitch Diva. Beautiful! I might need to make that one. But not with Tilli Tomas yarn, ya know.

I visited Seed Stitch in Salem last week, and it's a lovely space. The owner seems very nice and has a thoughtful selection of yarns. I like the work table down the center of the shop. Just wish they were more convenient to Gloucester. They have the orange Malabrigo I wrote about yesterday and are open from 6-8 this evening. I might have to hop in the car after Isobel goes to bed.

In stash enhancement news, I hope to score some Kidsilk Haze and DB Cashmerino Aran from someone's Destash sale. What is it with the KSH? Total crack. I'm not even sure what I'll do with it, but three skeins in the camel color want to come home to mama.

28 November 2006

Crackin' along

Did a few more rows of the shawl for Grandma last night. Unfortunately, it probably won't be ready for Christmas, since there are some other projects to crank out, too. The teachers at Isobel's daycare need gifts (garter stitch gloves? wristlets? hats? gift cards, definitely, or cash), and I have to do a hat for my Dad, but I want some Ladrillo Malabrigo to go with the Azul Bolita for a little contrast.

The beret for Mom is done but needs some blocking, I think, and maybe a bit of elastic woven into the ... brim - part that goes on your head. Purl Scarves for Sis and SIL are complete, as is a funky cable-pattern version in Blue Sky Alpacas Bulky for my Bro. I completed the asymmetrical cable hat from One Skein for Peter in this Chunky Wool from Araucania - I'd made him gloves out of the Nature Wool, which is more like sportweight, last winter. After one repeat of the cable pattern I was ready to rip the hat out, feeling it was too loose on the "prescribed" needles, but in the end I like it.

So, I need to make something for Isobel (probalby mittens to go with her hat and scarf), something for my niece, something for my BFF and perhaps her husband and son, Isobel's teachers, and Dad. Oh, and my colleagues want wristlets of some sort, so I'll have to see about that. Next year is going to be the Year of Selfish Knitting, I think. Until November, of course.

27 November 2006

Cracksilk Haze

It's not enough to own a bag of Alchemy Haiku. Now, I have three skeins of Rowan's Kidsilk Haze in the Marmalade colorway. I'm making a stole for Grandma. I thought about doing Kiri, but then I got a little dizzy and had to come to my senses. I just can't do my first lace shawl. In mohair. So, I was inspired by the tube shawl in Alterknits, but I'm not doing it in the round. Well, I started it in the round yesterday, panicked, frogged, broke the yarn somewhere in the cast-on mess, contemplated Kiri, then decided to just do a simple stockinette stole. I don't think there will be much rolling with this yarn in stockinette on US8s (Bryspun circular for those keeping track).

The tube shawl wants a piece of fabric threaded through. And I worry that the 24" circumference tube won't really cut it as a wrap for Grandma. But if I think the flat shawl is just too flat, I could seam it up and do the tube. I hope to get it done before the trip to Chicago in two and a half weeks. Eep.

That yarn is so yummy.

21 November 2006

OTN: Purl Beret

Have I mentioned this pattern? I'm making one with the Handpaintedyarn Boucle in Tortuga. Love the color - it's like a dark tortoise shell, which makes sense with the name. The boucle yarn is interesting, and when I swatched it up a while back, I found that the purl side of stockinette fabric was its best side, so this pattern is perfect. It's a gift, and the intended has a beautiful, dark chocolate shearling coat, so this should look fabu with it. Just hope the headband isn't too itchy or anything.

This is also a good way for me to work with the boucle to decide if it will work for my totally theoretical En Garde sweater in the Natura colorway. Because the yarn is so thick and thin, it won't make a solid fabric, which is probably just fine. I had originally thought to make a sweater with this yarn in the round (all knit) and then turn it inside-out so the "purl" side shows, but the En Garde idea is more cardigan-like with a wide, red, silk ribbon tie on the side. Hehe. Get it? Ahem. Sorry, I'm a geek. Anyway, that means stockinette back and forth.

The big issue with this yarn is I would not want to make any mistakes while knitting with it. I think it would be a pain to tink or frog back to a certain point.

20 November 2006


I've dropped the last stitch, woven in the @#$% ends, and she is complete. Now, I just need to wash and block the Clapotis, and it's ready for giving. It really is lovely. I know many folks don't block theirs, but I'd like to gain some length on this one. I'll post a picture after the bathing.

I also cast on and off one of these cute garter stitch gloves in Sheep Shop #1. That took about 2.5 hours to do. I might just have to make more for gifts, though my cow-orker basically asked for some wrist warmers today. I'm wearing an old pair I made from Manos waaaay back at the beginning of my knitting. As FOs, they're pretty awful, but they do the trick in my air-conditioned office today (yes, it was 60 degrees in here earlier - craziness).

Isobel refused to wear her birthday sweater yesterday, except for a brief foray outside when I insisted she wear a sweater. Guess it isn't one of my more successful knits for her. Today she wore her First Birthday Sweater (Shocking Pink Malabrigo Placket Sweater from Last-Minute Knitted Gifts - great pattern and super soft yarn. Perhaps I'll make another one for her in another Malabrigo color. The merino is just so lovely, even if it does pill.

16 November 2006

Cable patterns

I'm on the hunt for a pattern I saw last month. It's a big cable scarf pattern that's reversible. I believe the pattern was a PDF and the photo was of a red scarf. Still wandering down the google hole...

But I found this cute cable purse pattern in my wanderings. Instead of a handle like that I think I've seen others that used a fat DPN for a handle.


Hey, I just found one. I don't think it's the one I'm thinking of, but I know I saw it in previous wanderings.

More great free patterns here. I know I saw this blog long ago, as I remember that cami with the embellishment.

Found its! I must have stumbled across it on a Knitting Pattern Central. I'm not crazy!

But now I can't remember why I was so keen to have such a pattern in the first place today.

15 November 2006


Kiri is beautiful, and I think I found it before I heard St. Brenda mention it. Then there is the Wing of the Moth shawl, which Wendyknits knit and looks amazing - I mentioned that in an earlier post. The Yarn Harlot has a Snowdrop shawl that I considered before I ended up doing Clapotis.

We need better lighting by the couch before I do any real lace knitting.

New places to drool

Thanks to the newsletter from Lime 'n' Violet, I spent a little drool time at etsy, now that the site is back up and running. People are producing beautiful things all the time. And from there I somehow ended up at pureknits, which has more droolworthy yarn and patterns. And they led me to Fable which produces a pure alpaca yarn. Drool. Pureknits has a really nice site.

I'm in the home stretch on Clapotis now. Maybe I'll even complete it before the weekend, though there are cupcakes to be made tomorrow night (the little lady turns two on Sunday).

14 November 2006

French Girl patterns

How cute is this? Doesn't hurt that the pattern is called Isobel. I just read about French Girl patterns on the Knitlist. I just wish they had more information about the patterns on their site (sizes, how much yarn, needles, etc.). They do list the yarn used, but I think knowing how much yarn a project is going to require helps in making a decision. Ah, Jimmy Beans Wool includes some pattern information but doesn't have as many patterns for sale. Looks like the patterns are Rowan-centric, yarn-wise, though, again, Jimmy Beans Wool shows some alternative yarn options when Rowan has discontinued the yarn for the pattern.

In other news I dropped another two stitches on Clapotis. In the straight section I could manage one repeat a night, and yesterday I did one decrease repeat. I hope to increase the number of rows as we decrease the stitches on the needles because I want to finish this! There are so many other things to knit.

For that future project with the Boucle, I want to call it En Garde and tie it closed with a big, red, silky ribbon. What do you think? I want it be quite shaped in the body, too. It's starting to take shape!

13 November 2006

Home stretch

I started the decrease portion on Clapotis last night! Thank goodness, since I was getting a little bored. The decreases make things go faster, especially since you drop two stitches in each repeat. Big fun. Someone on the Clapotis KAL group forgot to do the second drop stitch and had to frog back. I'm sorry that happened but am glad to have read the cautionary tale before embarking upon the decrease myself. It's looking really lovely.

While listening to CraftLit and Cast-On this morning on the drive in, I started to imagine all sorts of future sweaters, as well as learning to spin. Heather recorded her podcast at SOAR, and Brenda spoke with her sister, Pam, for the Today's Sweater segment. I think I'd like to knit a bulky sweater like the Green Leaves on in Loop-d-Loop, especially since I just received something like 13 skeins of Lopi wool. I might try my hand at dying, too, since the Lopi is "natural".

Other project ideas include some sort of shrug, and those Kidsilk Haze arm warmers from One Skein, though I don't think I'd actually wear them.

If I were to try spinning, I think I'd go with a drop spindle first, to see if I like it at all. Wheels are a huge investment, but one would certainly fit in our house. The previous owner (who gave me the Lopi) had a wheel.

[Added] I'm not sure I'm up for the Leaf Lace Pullover (also in Interweave Knits Summer 2005), having googled it a bit. You Kitchener up the sides, and then you Kitchener the sleeves to the body. Gah. Plus, I'm not crazy about the ribbed hemline. Being an Apple, I am generally against anything that squeezes in the hemline of something around my middle, which is why I prefer turned hems or just letting them roll in stockinette.

10 November 2006


What's my fascination with the stuff? I'm not even that into the look of lace shawls. Sure, they're beautiful, but I'm not really at a place in my life where I want a lot of complicated lace around my shoulders. But the idea of laceweight makes me drool-y. And there aren't a whole lot of people in my life who would want lacey shawls. Weird. But I just spent a bunch of clicks on "Fleece Artist Kasura" after seeing a skein of it on the Destash blog. I even considered joining the Yahoo! Yarn Coop. Oh, that's just what I need, more yarn.

Boston area knitter

Just found another Boston area knitter, and she appears to work at Three Bags Full in Newburyport, which I have never been to. Maybe I can check it out this weekend.

09 November 2006

Gloucester Knitting

There is another blogging knitter in Gloucester! I'll have to get in touch with her. I found her when I was looking at the closeout yarns on the Webs site. And they have a closeout on K1C2's Angora Soft, which sounds lovely, but I thought I'd better google it to see what other bloggers have to say about it. And up popped Kathleen Valentine. I haven't had a chance to read her entire blog yet, but I will.

08 November 2006


I've been thinking about making another sweater for DD, something out of a superwash wool. It's tough raising a toddler, working, taking care of (or trying to) a big, old house, etc. etc. We all know the story. But the last thing I want to do is handwash sweaters that get covered in ketchup half the time. I'm pretty much pro-natural fiber, so I can't just knit everything for her out of acrylic (I did start one for her but it's turned into a UFO).

So, today I found this bit of information, which may help me make a decision on some yarn. Like I need more. But I would like to add a supwerwash fiber option to my repetoire, and it looks like Cascade 200 Superwash might be it. Now, I just have to find an LYS that carries it so I can fondle before I buy.

Then I'll have to find a pattern.

In other news I attended the Tuesday Knit Night at my LYS, which is the new night so is less crowded. It was nice to meet some new folks and see others who can't attend Wednesday's KN. I got to drop another stitch on Clapotis and think two more repeats of the straight section might do it, which is good as I want to start knitting other things! But this must be finished before I start anything else.

06 November 2006

New hat

The hat for DD was to small, didn't cover her ears according to daycare. And it was a little snug. Don't trust to book sizing guidelines. Measure that noggin! Especially with the littlest ones, since their noggins are disproportionately large. Even Miss Isobel's, and she's low-ish on the scales for head circumference. So, I made her a "child" size one last night and think it fits well, though she wouldn't try it on this morning. I also did the ribbed band longer so it folds over. I could have done the earflaps but they're garter stitch, and I didn't do the garter stitch brim, so it might have looked funny.

03 November 2006

What's the big deal with Noro?

Honestly, I don't get it. Noro holds no appeal for me. When I knit up the Hourglass sweater from Last-Minute Knitted Gifts, I did look for Noro's Cash Iroha, which is a nice yarn, but it's a solid. I guess it's the multicolored stuff that people go crazy for. Except me. But some people probably think I'm nutty for my variegated yarn thing. To each their own.

DD cardi pattern I couldn't find before

This was another possiblity for the wrap sweater, but I couldn't find the link after the initial click some time back. Thanks to the blue blog's blogline list! I could still make one...


I've started to post to the Knitlist with answers to people's questions. Whee!

Someone asked for a hat pattern, and I gave them my recipe, which is an amalgamation of a few hat patterns I've knit up over the last three years:

"Cast on appropriate number of stitches (try for a multiple of eight. which makes for nice decreases at the top) for desired circumference and gauge in pattern. Join for working in the round and work for approximately 7" (for adult size). For a multiple of eight caston: K6 k2tog to end of round; knit one round even; k5 k2tog; even. And so on until you have 4/8/12 stitches on the needle (sort of depends on the bulk of your yarn). Cut yarn leaving a 6" tail. Thread tail through live stitches, tighten like a drawstring, then secure and weave in end inside hat.

"I did a pile of hats in Blizzard (bulky alpaca blend) a few years back in almost this pattern, but with a decrease every row (knit for another inch or so before starting decreases), which formed this lovely spiral pattern on top."

For the Blizzard hats, I think I started with 42 stitches (multiple of seven, not eight, but whatever).

I'm intrigued by people asking for a hat pattern, since they're so basic. But lots of people need big directions, I guess. Nothing wrong with that. Sometimes I do, too, but it's so fun when you start to understand the structure and can then riff on that.

02 November 2006

'nother online yarn store

One of my colleagues told me about this store. They have Malabrigo for a good price. And their B&M store is open T-Sa 10-4 (F 10-3). I want that.

Seriously, the more I think about it, the more I want a yarn store. I know, it's crazy. I'm not even that big a fan of retail. Time to do some research.

She's baaack!

Brenda Dayne has returned to the podwaves! I hadn't realized how much I missed hearing her voice until I started up the new episode of Cast-On during yesterday's drive home. My only gripe is that there was no Today's Sweater. Next week, I hope.

Lime 'n' Violet did a Kill Bill Halloween special, which they obviously had fun doing, but I wanted Yarn P***! I'm sure I would have found it more enjoyable if I'd seen the movie, though I'm starting to think if you've seen one or two Tarantino projects, you have a good handle on how the rest go.

Still have to listen to Heather Ordover's latest 'cast, but she recorded a Happy Podiversary message for Brenda.

Did you know about Knit the Classics? I may have to join that one, though I'm not sure I could keep up with the reading and knitting. They've read some really good books. I may just have to join and keep up as best I can.

In other news no one at Knit Night has Tudor Roses, but one woman works at the library and said they can get anything via Inter-Library loan, so I may have to investigate that further. I'd really just like to see all the patterns in one place out of curiosity, especially now that I've started reading The Constant Princess. Philippa Gregory's other Tudor era books have been great fun, so I'm sure I'll enjoy this one.

Did another repeat on Clapotis for a grand total of eight dropped stitches. I'm trying to do one repeat a night. Then, I have no idea how long the "closing" section will take. Hopefully, I'll be done by the middle of the month.

Which is good since I bought some yummy blue Sheep Shop #1 to make a cute pair of garter stitch gloves (pattern free with yarn purchase at my LYS). DH was shocked (haha) to see the color of my yarn purchase. I don't want to start them until Clapotis is finished. But it's supposed to be cold this weekend!

01 November 2006


Until last week I didn't know much about all the Alice Starmore kerfuffle (if you want to know, just google "Starmore"). And I can't remember what sent me down that google-hole, but now I want to make Tudor Roses sweaters. And I've never done intarsia/fairisle/multi-color knitting. Actually, I want to make the Elizabeth I sweater, which is one-color. I just found a KAL. Now, I need a copy of the book, which is OOP (that's publisherspeak for out of print). Copies are going for $250 on Amazon. The standoff between author and publisher has left us in the lurch. Why can't people just get along? Sigh.

I should ask at Knit Night if anyone has the book.

Blog spotting

Wendy has some lovely FOs, including this amazing shawl. I may have to buy the pattern and make one with some of my crazy Haiku stash.

People are creating amazing things all over the place!

This lacy cardigan is quite loverly.

And I just stumbled upon this nice pullover (jumper for our UK friends).

Then there is the Weasley sweater I found yesterday.

I know I came across Marnie MacLean's website a long time ago, as a few of the patterns looked familiar when I landed there yesterday. I think I was looking for knitted flower patterns at the time. Some neat lace stuff there, which I fear may be my next obsession.

After these! I can't live in a Colonial era house without getting into Colonial era dolls for my DD. She's too young, yet, but some day. Plus, Grandma & Grandpa live outside of Chicago, home of American Girl Place. Blame the Knitlist for sending me there yesterday. Someone was looking for AG patterns to knit for their granddaughter's doll.


@#$%^& puppy. I stupidly left my knitting bag on the couch last night. So, this morning when le chien wasn't waiting for me at the top of the stairs, I had a sinking feeling that something was wrong. And there he was in the Keeping Room trying to swallow a hunk of my laceweight. Luckily, he didn't damage the knitting itself, but he broke the yarn, which I had hoped to avoid with this project. But DD had already broke it once, so that wasn't too bad. But, darn that puppy.

And, once again my stitch count seems to be off on Clapotis. Last time this happened was the MIL debacle. I'm going to have to start ticking off every row. Argh.